my hope.

I haven’t felt like this is a long time, the good kind of missing someone when you’re not with them and knowing they could possibly feel the same way about you.

The feeling of hope. Hope that someone could possibly like me, for me. Not the person that people perceive me as. Not for just my body or just my brain, but for everything about I am.

No, they don’t know all my cracks, or imperfections yet. And no I don’t know theirs. But this moment right now, is right where I want to be.

The butterflies. The firsts. The laughs. The sleepless nights of doing nothing but enjoying each other.

Even if this moment doesn’t last forever or go any further than where it is now. I am thankful for this person. Thankful that he reminded me what I deserve and what I am worth.

-A

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The ‘Ashley Twerk’

I am officially 1.5 years seizure free. Oh yea, baby! BUT (there’s always a but), it has not been an easy year and a half. The older I get, whenever I have a seizure the more complicated it gets. Losing your license in your late 20s, is 100 times worse than before. The choice of medication and side effects become worse and harder to control (my doctor pointed out at my last appointment that pregnancy should be considered when considering medications. I don’t even have a boyfriend, so imagine my reaction to this ‘recommendation’).

I wrote a post a while ago about my seizures (original post). I don’t like it. I didn’t even want to attach it to this post. Reading it, it sounds very impersonal and textbook-ish. Not my type of writing at all. So I’m going to give it to you raw and real right now.

My seizures have been my biggest struggle I have had to deal with. I am saying this as a person who has been dealt many bad hands in the game of life. I have lived with an eating disorder, self-injury and growing up with a parent addicted to a substance. All those things I have always felt I have had some sort of control over. I could choose whether to eat or not. I could choose whether to put a blade against my skin and I can choose whether to allow this addiction ridden person into my life. But seizures I have had no control over. I had no control over the side effects of the medications, having my license and independence taken away from me or from the depression that took over me this past year.

This last seizure was by far the hardest on me. The medication I was put on, though is supposed to be the best out there, killed my spirit and threw me into a hole of darkness. I pushed away anyone close to me. Friends and family became my biggest enemy. I didn’t want anyone to care about me when I couldn’t care about myself. I have never thought of suicide more then I have since I’ve been on this drug. Watching my natural positive attitude be taken from me, and having no say over it, was devastating. A simple comment could push me over the edge. Constantly feeling exhausted from my emotions going from extreme highs to extreme lows in a matter of seconds. Sometimes staying in bed for days at a time just to hide from it all. Throwing myself at men in desperation to feel anything at all, anything but numbness.

Surprising thoughts and words to hear from a girl with a smile as bright as the sun and a laugh that echoes through your head, I know. The girl who’s nickname is “Disney World” at work. But I kept up that persona for the past year and a half, half hoping that someone would finally see past the mask and half hoping to disappear altogether.

So where can I go from here you’re probably wondering? It’s simple, just stop taking the medication I’m on or switch to another one, right? Not so simple. To keep a license, I must be on some sort of medication (or so I thought). Other medications have even worse side effects (says my neurologist) such as weight gain, teeth and gum bleeding, hair falling out, cognitive issues, etc. My body is also addicted to the medication I’m on, so to abruptly stop taking this medication would throw my body into withdrawal.

I went to my family doctor at the end of December, in desperation for some kind of help. I think she could tell by my shaking voice, that I needed something, some kind of answer other than the ones I was getting from my neurologist who had postponed my yearly checkup continuously for over six months. I think she could tell that I wouldn’t last much longer without some kind of hope that someone would fight for me, and someone in the medical world would be on my side for once. It’s surprising how fast mentioning suicidal thoughts can get you the attention you’ve wanted for the past year and a half and even though these words were hard for me to say, they were true, they were serious and they got me the hope I needed.

 

I am hopeful. Scared, but staying positive that I will not have any more seizures in my future. I am trying to stay as consistent as I can with my exercise and eating, which helps me minimize side effects of the medication I’m on. I am trying to only surround myself with people who lift me up and bring me happiness to cut out any extra stress and negativity. And I’m trying to hold myself accountable and mindful of my negative thoughts and feelings.

If anyone reads this and has any tips, please let me know!

-A

Scar Removal Update #3

**photographs may be triggering

Update #1
Update #2

For those of you still following allow my scar removal journey, here is an update.
We have started the next process, micro-needling. I found the lasering, made a huge difference on my leg scars! My arm as well, but I can see the most change on my leg for sure. I explained before, what micro-needling is, but I will again in case I have any new readers. So micro-needling is a treatment done that uses small needles to puncture the skin and trigger the body into healing mode, stimulating cell production and new collagen to form. For me specifically, this will greatly help the texture of my scars.

The first photo is my leg with the numbing cream on, which had to sit for 30 minutes. The second photo is directly after the treatment. This treatment hurt more than the lasering (about an 8/10 for pain) and did result in some bleeding (which is standard). The healing process is way quicker than lasering though. The day of the treatment I had some mild discomfort and the day after I barely felt anything at all.

These photos were taken in the evening after the treatment. A little more red, but already starting to heal.

IMG_4708 (1)

This final photo is from the day after. If you look close you can see the little holes from the micro-needling. All swelling has gone down, and no pain other than when my sister’s dog jumps on me.

I go back for another treatment in 3 weeks. I am looking forward to seeing the results of this treatment, because the lady doing my treatments, believes this one will show the biggest changes in my scarring!

Ash

Happy 2 Years!

I can’t believe I started this blog two years ago. I mean I am 27 now and I started this blog when I was 25, so the math does add up, but it seriously is crazy how last time goes by.

So much has happened since then. Since I was that confused 25-year-old that aimlessly started writing nonsense to no one in particular. I mean realistically I’m probably not any less confused or any less lost.

This will be my 130th post. 130 posts filled with words of heartbreak, gained and lost love, of hope both lost and refound, of friendship and of sorrow. Posts that may have reached no one, but may have also helped at least one person.

I hope if you are reading this, this blog brings you a similar peace that it brings me. I hope it makes you realize you are not alone in your thoughts. You are never alone in this world, even on the loneliest of nights.

I hope it makes you realize that you are beautiful past your exterior. That you deserve the best this life can give you, and that you should never stop fighting until you get that.

I hope you realize you are not defined by your past mistakes. That those mistakes only made you stronger and smarter. That they taught you a lesson.

I hope you realize that your age does not define you. You are never too young or too old to do something. If you are not happy with something in your life, whether that be your occupation or relationship, you have the strength within you to change that.

Cheers to the future and all the adventures that it may bring. 🙂

-A

Unbreakable Force

Someone said something very important to me today and it really made me think. I spent this morning following along as women testified against Larry Nassar. If you don’t know this name, you should. Everyone should be educated on this terrible man and the things he did. I listened this morning and my heart broke for the women who were sexually assaulted by this man.

To give a little background, Larry Nassar was a doctor at Michigan State University, and also a doctor for the Olympic Gymnastic Team and he is being charged for numerous first-degree sexual assault charges. More than 140 women have accused him of sexual assault and over the past couple of days, a number of these women have delivered statements to the judge of the case and to Larry Nassar himself about the impact of the sexual assault on them, on their families and on their lives.

I listened to a handful of these statements. They left me feeling both heart broken and empowered. These women were damaged and broken, but together they formed an unbreakable army against this monster of a man.

I felt like I could relate a lot to these women. Again and again they all told similar stories. Stories of feeling used, abused, dirty and guilty. They were being assaulted, yet they were left feeling guilty.  This is a reoccurring feeling of sexual assault victims. Guilt. Even the media is forcing guilt upon the victims of Nassar, accusing them of wanting attention and money. I guarantee these women do not want attention because a man they thought they could trust assaulted them. I guarantee all of these women would much rather have their innocence and childhood back, rather than any amount of money.

They’re voices and words will hopefully put this man away for the rest of his life and hopefully stop anything like this from happening again.

It was hard for me to listen not only because the statements were very detailed, but because I was left feeling guilty myself. Guilty because I do not have the same strength as these women to talk about my sexual assault. Guilty because the man who harmed me, is still out there, innocent, not knowing the numbness he put into my heart. Guilty because there could be other women out there that he did the same thing to and also women out there that he could still do damaging things to in the future.

The important thing that was said to me tonight was that even though I may not ever charge the man who sexually assaulted me, that doesn’t take away what he did. I was still a victim, I was still harmed because of a man’s actions against me and I will still forever have to live knowing what happened. Charging this man may not be the right choice for me, but that doesn’t take away the heaviness in my heart, the fear in the pit of my stomach or the violation that happened to my body. Choosing to not charge this man doesn’t make me weak. I survived and I will continue to survive. I will continue to use my experience to help and relate to others.

“My dream is that one day everyone will know what the words #MeToo signify. But they will be educated and able to protect themselves from predators like Larry so that they will never ever, ever have to say the words, ‘me, too.'”
-Aly Raisman

-A

Can FWB be successful?

FWB, friends with benefits, f*ck buddies, no strings attached.. whatever you want to call it, by your mid-twenties you’ve most likely been in a situation with someone where these words have come up.

So what makes a friends with benefits situation successful? WELL, I can definitely tell you what doesn’t make it successful.

-feelings

-jealousy

-miscommunication

-attachment

..this list could go on and on, for me especially because I’ve been in far more unsuccess relationships like this than successful ones. The number is one actually. One single successful friends with benefits relationship and I am here to tell you what I’ve learned to be successful and unsuccessful.

I recently listened to an episode from the podcast: “Guys We’ve F*ucked”. If you’re a female or even a male, I highly recommend this podcast. It’s hilarious and real.  It ties together political and social issues with the hilarity of dating, sexual experiences and much more. The episode that really got me thinking, discussed a no strings attached relationship from both a male and two females’ perspectives. In this case, it was the male that said that relationships like this can’t work.  He said that if you have sex with someone more than 3 times, that means there’s something between the two people, whether that be feelings, attachment, attraction, a connection.. something and whatever this something is, is bound to make the friends with benefits relationship not work out in the end.  Even the one female talker who said she had had an FWB relationship in the past, did have a ‘crush’ on the guy she was sleeping with.

The male went on to explain that there’s a type of coldness that comes along with this type of relationship. You are turning off your emotions. I agree with this. 100% the only way an FWB relationship can ever possibly work, is if you turn off your emotions and feelings. Throw the expectations out the window. Don’t expect this person to be there for you in any other way than physically.

The male even explains that an FWB relationship is an ‘overindulgence’. Like smoking, or dipping your hand in the cookie jar, one too many times. With this statement, I would probably have to say I disagree. I definitely see his point of view on this, but I think that if both parties in this situation are on the same page and have the same agreements of what is doing down, I don’t think it’s necessarily an overindulgence as much as it’s two friends helping each other meet eachother’s needs.

The more this podcast made me think, the more I analyzed what was the key to success.
1) Do not allow feelings to form. You obviously need to be attracted to this person, but psychically not emotionally. Don’t talk to this person about personal things. Don’t ask too many personal questions. If you’re having a bad day, don’t lean on this person to bring you back up. Keep your physically needs separated from your emotional needs.
2) Make sure you’re on the same page. What do you want? Is it the same thing this other person wants? If you find yourself not getting what you want out of the situation, communicate it.
3) If this person or the relationship starts to not feel right, walk away. There’s no need to explain your reasoning, you do not owe this other person anything other than what you gave them, just walk away.
4) Be honest. If you start to have feelings, if something doesn’t feel equal or fair, don’t only be honest with the other person, but be honest with yourself.
5) Keep it secret. I honestly don’t know if this really helps or not, but I’ve found it keeps a whole lot of unneeded drama out of the situation. Keep it simple.

Are friends with benefits are the way of the future? I honestly hope not. But for where I am right now, it’s working for me, and until further notice, I’m just going to go with it, not ask too many questions or overthink the situation.

-A